CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 4th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Mean Fiddler win appeal over Leeds Festival policing costs
- EMI and Warner respond to no takeover news
- All quiet on the iTunes front
- OFT OK royalty bodies merger
- TI's man killed in shooting
- Richards had brain haemorrhage
- Muse announce album details
- Bloc Party on new track
- Flowers says Killers album is really good
- REM plan new album
- HHC CD includes Plan B exclusives
- Yahoo chief disses DRM again
- Starbucks announce Diana Ross exclusive
- Real launch pan-European music service
- Will Bertelsmann borrow, rather than sell SonyBMG?
- Earache enter into distribution deal with Warner division
- Mika Bomb fundraiser
- It Came From Japan tour
- Spank Rock UK tour
- Clayhill tour
- Gledhill single on Sky Sports
- Keane play ULU Friday
- Pete Burns imprisoned for violating bail
- Preston and Chantelle's wedding plans
- Twentysixfeet take retail distribution into their own hands


So some interesting remarks from Yahoo Music chief David Goldbert at the Musexpo event in California this week - nothing he hasn't said before perhaps, but particularly relevant in the context of the news this week that it seems likely the major record companies are going to be forced to accept Apple's one-price-fits-all-model of downloading for sometime to come, because Apple are just too dominant in the digital music space to do battle with at the moment. This led me into a well trodden debate with a couple of people round this way - the one about whether anyone will ever break Apple's hold of the digital music sector. Given that the iPod has become so much the MP3 player of choice (not least because 'iPod' is used to mean 'MP3 player' so much these days, people will be going into electronics stores asking for an "iPod" when they mean "MP3 player"), and given that, new French laws pending, no one has found a way to persuade or force Apple to allow download platforms other than iTunes to sell iPod compatible DRM-ed tracks, it is hard to see at the moment who is going to successfully take on Steve Jobs et al in the world of legit mainstream downloading. So, have Apple really sown up the digital music market, so quickly and so easily? Well, no, and the reason why brings me back to Goldbert's comments at Musexpo. He says that it is wrong to assume that digital rights management will exist in the digital music space forever - and that it is wrong to assume that, because iTunes has been successful so far, that consumers, and especially young consumers, are convinced by DRM-based download services. Which brings us back to a point we've made before here in the Daily. What if every major label was to stop using DRM tomorrow? What if every major label was to stop writing open cheques to the tech firms that make these always hackable and occasionally dangerous DRM technologies, and made their entire catalogues available as unprotected MP3s? Would piracy really go into to hyperdrive and bankrupt us all? How would it be different than the current situation where pretty much every track is available as an MP3 somewhere on the net, albeit illegally? And one thing is for certain - drop DRM, and iTunes would be come irrelevant because everyone could start selling iPod compatible music without any movement on Apple's part. Isn't that worth seriously considering?



KILL ALL HIPPIES MAY... Following the storming success of last month's Insomniacs Ball, the Kill All Hippies team are back at Shoreditch's 333 Club this Friday for London's best rock night. This month we have the wonderful The Pipettes headlining in the basement, with support from The Glass, plus DJ support from resident Jeff Automatic and guest DJ Julian (Whitey). On the ground floor is the Fully Comprehensive team, with resident Gavin Nugent plus Mark Beaumont (NME), Syrinx and Owen Hopkin (The Crimea). All takes place this Friday (5 May) from 10pm to 5am at the 333 Club in Shoreditch - tickets are a tenner on the door, or a fiver if you guest list in advance at

More info:



Another chance to hear 'The Batcave', with Natasha in conversation with NFD (6-9pm) Listen live at



THE GREAT ESCAPE: You know the deal by now - three great days in Brighton offering an unrivalled programme of one to one interviews with leading industry figures, including Michael Eavis, ie Music's Tim Clark and David Enthoven and, just added, EMI CEO Tony Wadsworth, plus more great gigs and showcases than you can possibly imagine including The Futureheads, British Sea Power, The Kooks, The Bees, The Feeling, The Cribs and Martha Wainwright. It all takes place 18-20 May - full details at - plus if you work for an independent or grass roots media or music company, or in the college space, email [email protected] and we'll tell you how you can get a full delegates pass for the very special rate of £175.



Win tickets to Encompass
CMU Beats has tickets to give away that will get you into all three of the great workshop events being staged as part of Encompass on 13 May. As previously reported, these include sessions with Fabric founder Keith Reilly, Wall Of Sound founder Mark Jones and the legend that is Don Letts. More info at - and check today to enter.

MySpace Of The Day: Veto Silver
Veto Silver are news to me; I seem to have missed their 2005 debut EP. Now they're releasing another EP, which is probably why I got around to noticing them this time. They do a nice brand of electro-pop that sounds to me vaguely reminiscent of one of my eighties favourites OMD. That's not to say they're stuck in the past; it's a contemporary pop sound, synthy and cinematic, although in fairness, they do seem to be citing quite a few eighties names in their 'influences' box. Anyway, it's definitely worth a look; not least because they're quite pretty, and there are lots of pictures. What? Well, when did I ever claim to not be shallow?

Read more about our MySpace of the Day right now at


Mean Fiddler have won a court appeal that could set a precedent for when promoters have to pay for policing in or around their events.

The appeal court hearing related to charges (financial, not legal) made by West Yorkshire Police following Mean Fiddler's 2003 Leeds Festival. The local police force dramatically increased its presence around the festival site after the previous year's event had ended in a bit of a riot (violent, not musical). It then presented Mean Fiddler with a £300,000 bill to pay for that increased policing.

Mean Fiddler argued that because the increase in policing was "around" the event, but not actually on the festival site, they should not have to pay. A County Court initially sided with the police and ordered the promoters to pay, but the Appeal Courts yesterday overturned that decision, ordering the police to return Mean Fiddler's money. Yesterday's judges said that West Yorkshire Police had not provided "special police services" in August 2003 because their heightened presence was more for the benefit of the surrounding community rather than festival-goers - and therefore Mean Fiddler should not have to pay.

Recognising that their ruling might have implications for the policing of all major events, Lord Justice Baker said that the court was being asked to decide on the dividing line between the services the police must provide as part of its public duty and special services provided at the request of promoters, for which promoters must pay. Baker admitted the law was in part vague on where that dividing line should be, and that if anything it tended to lean in favour of the promoters, who could only really be obligated to cover off-site policing costs when applying for their event licence. With that in mind the judge advised police forces to reach agreements with promoters early on relating to the cost of policing their events.

Welcoming the Appeal Court ruling, Mean Fiddler boss Melvin Benn told reporters: "If the police had been on the site as I wanted them to be I would pay for them. They wouldn't come on the site and chose to police the public highway instead. I don't think I should be charged for that."


Following on from those reports yesterday that Warner Music had knocked back a takeover offer from EMI, the following statements have been received from the two majors.

First from EMI: "Following recent press speculation, EMI Group plc (EMI) confirms that on 1 May 2006 it made an approach to Warner Music Group Corp (Warner Music) in connection with a proposed offer by EMI to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Warner Music for $28.50 per share, in a combination of cash and EMI shares. Subsequently, on 2 May 2006, Warner Music informed EMI that it did not wish to enter into discussions regarding EMI's proposal. The Board of EMI continues to believe that an acquisition of Warner Music by EMI would be very attractive to both sets of shareholders. Especially if we get to have a funky new logo".

Warner responded thus: "Warner Music Group recently received a preliminary non-binding proposal from EMI Group Plc. The Warner Music Group Corp board of directors has carefully evaluated the proposal in conjunction with the company's outside legal and financial advisors. The board has determined that the proposal is not in the best interests of our shareholders and has unanimously rejected it. Though if they come up with a better logo, who knows?"


No comment at all from the major record companies, however, on their contract renegotiations with Apple relating to iTunes. As reported on Tuesday, reports suggest that the major record companies have re-entered (or are in the process of re-entering) into long term agreements with Apple to make their catalogues available via iTunes on the existing 99 cents a track model (79p a track over here, obviously), despite a preference at the top of the major record companies for adopting a variable pricing model, where prices can be set on a track by track basis. Despite various senior major execs making remarks in the last year that the one-price-fits-all model is just not sustainable long term, there have been no comments so far on whether those reports are true and, if so, whether the majors got any other concessions out of Apple (interoperability? more security?) in return for giving way on the big variable pricing thing.


Back to merger stories, and the Office Of Fair Trading have given the all-OK-thank-you-very-much (I'm using a technical term there, obviously) to the proposed merger between recording royalties outfit Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL to friends and enemies alike) and smaller royalty bodies PAMRA and AURA to create PPAMRAURAL, presumably. The proposals will now have to be ratified by the memberships of each of the three societies - PPL will seek approval at their upcoming AGM while the other two are expected to call EGMs of their memberships in the next few days.

PPL top guy Fran Nevrkla told reporters: "I am absolutely delighted about this development. British performers deserve a better quality of service and the new structure will make it possible for us jointly to deliver just that. Plus we'll get to have a lovely new logo".

AUTA chairman Stephen King added: "This unprecedented collaboration between performers and PPL is the first step in a revolution which will cut administration costs and drastically improve collection of overseas income for all UK performers, and I am proud of the part we at AURA have played in making this happen. And I really cannot wait to see this lovely new logo".


A member of US rapper TI's entourage has been shot dead in an incident at the Club Ritz in Cincinnati, early yesterday morning. The hip-hopper himself was not harmed in the fracas, which, according to local newspaper the Cincinnati Enquirer, started inside the club when a group of men confronted TI and his group. The rapper and his entourage attempted to drive away from the club without further confrontation, according to a witness, but they were followed onto the nearby highway, interstate 75, where a shootout took place. The identity of the dead man has not been released.

Earlier in the evening TI had performed a set at the city's Bogart's venue in support of his chart topping album 'King'. A subsequent show in St Louis has been cancelled.


A report in The Sun has claimed that Keith Richards in fact suffered a brain haemorrhage when he fell from that coconut tree at the weekend, and not just mild concussion, as was previously reported. The Stones star was, of course, treated briefly in Fiji, where the accident occurred, before being flown to a New Zealand hospital for further treatment

The tabloid reports that Richards will now have to undergo surgery. They quote a source as saying: "Keith's accident has turned out worse than everybody feared. After the tests, doctors decided they should drain his skull. It given him a scare but he has been told that he should make a full recovery once it's done."


Muse have announced that their new album, to be called 'Black Holes And Revelations', will be out on 3 Jul. The long player will be preceded by the release of a single, 'Supermassive Black Hole', out on 12 Jun as a download and physically on 19 Jun.

The band are expected to air some new tracks when they appear live later this month at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Dundee. They are, as previously reported, also on the line-up for this year's Reading and Leeds festivals in August.


Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke, currently at work with his band and producer Jacknife Lee on a new album, has spoken to Billboard about a new track written in the wake of last year's London bombings. Speaking about 'Hunting For Witches', the singer said: "The 30 bus in Hackney, which is just around the corner from where I live, was blown up. [The song was] written when I was just observing the reactions of the mainstream press. I guess the point about the song for me is post-September 11, the media has really traded on fear and the use of fear in controlling people."

Okereke also explained that David Bowie's been an inspiration whilst he's been at work on the new LP, saying: "He's had a career where you can actually trace influences and styles. He's just a real sort of artist in the way a lot of rock musicians now aren't given the scope to develop. That's something that became really fascinating to me toward the last half of the year. There's more we can do as a band than being fast, loud and shouty and I think these songs are going some way to explore that."


Killers frontman Brandon Flowers has been talking about how great his band's new album is. Of course, on the evidence of the band's debut 'Hot Fuss', The Killers are entirely capable of producing a great album. Although, one of the best album of the past twenty years? He said it, look: "We just have to make the best album that we can. And we're doing it. This album is one of the best albums in the past 20 years. There's nothing that touches this album. And that sounds like I'm being cocky, but I'm just so excited."

He also explained some more about his previously reported crush on Bruce Springsteen, telling MTV: "I had something happen that I didn't ever think could happen. I fell in love with The Smiths and the Pet Shop Boys when I was 12 years old, and I never thought that could happen again. But after meeting a lot of those people, who were my heroes and idols, and seeing them onstage, something changed. We'd drawn large crowds, and it felt like we were getting to the same sort of place, and it made me feel like I couldn't look at those people in the same light anymore. And that was kind of sad, but then I had another one of those 12-year-old experiences when I was 23, but this time with Bruce Springsteen. And it was just - it was elation... He's a gift, and I didn't know. There was something in his music that touched what I was going through, the process of falling back in love with my America."

On Springsteen's influence on the new LP, due out in September, Flowers added: "Springsteen touches on the American dream, and that's everybody's dream. And it's such a great idea - whether or not it's still happening today. Most of the songs are about getting to that place, of making it to the promised land. And that idea runs through the record. It's very optimistic."


REM are thinking of starting work on a new album before the end of the year, according to drummer Bull Rieflin, who has told Billboard: "The band's on hiatus. The idea at the end of the last tour, which ended in July, was really to take a year off, without having to even think about it. There was a three-year period of quite intense work, [so this is] some needed time off. There's some discussion about cranking things up in autumn, maybe winter."


The next issue of Hip Hop Connection will include one of those cover mount CD thingys with no less than six exclusive tracks from Mr Plan B - tracks that won't be appearing on his upcoming album 'Who Needs Actions When You Got Words'. So don't go round saying we didn't tell you - the new issue is out on 9 May, Plan B's album is out 26 Jun.


Some interesting comments from Yahoo Music chief David Goldbert at the Musexpo event in California. Goldbert has expressed anti-DRM sentiments before and, according to Digital Music News, has again spoken out against the major record companies' obsession with digital rights technology. They quote him as advising his audience: "Stop pretending that DRM for digital is a good thing. It helps technology companies, but it's not helping music companies or artists". Goldberg holds the opinion that young consumers in particular remain unenthusiastic about DRM-based download platforms, and warns that the music industry shouldn't assume that because the DRM-enabled iTunes is seemingly successful, that DRM-based services are the future. He continued: "It is [still] easier to get music illegally than legally. iTunes is not working for kids, it's older people like us that use it". You know, I think he's right.


Starbucks are about to launch another exclusive music offer in the US, this time with Diana Ross. Later this month the coffee chain will start selling a new Ross album called 'Blues', recorded in the seventies but never before released, five weeks ahead of the mainstream release. The latest in a string of partnerships with classic artists, Starbucks remains committed to its (mainly US) music ventures, recently announcing a new relationship with the William Morris Agency which will focus on pursuing new partnerships between the coffee brand and key names in the music and wider entertainments world.


RealNetworks yesterday announced the pan-European launch of RealMusic, a music service that offers subscribers instant access to a range of music and entertainment content. The European roll out of the service follows RealMusic's debut in the UK back in December, and will offer some 300 CD-quality web-radio streams, including services targeted at specific European countries.

Announcing the launch of the Europe-wide service, Real's Head Of Music Gabriel Levy told reporters: "The European music industry is characterised by a rich melange of local and international talent, famous and unknown alike. RealMusic is the first comprehensive music service to embrace the diversity of European listening habits and to give users a simple way to listen to the music they love while discovering new, unfamiliar artists and songs."

Real's Vice President EMEA, Marco Menato, added: "Music is a major part of Real's strategy in Europe as we look to launch further compelling consumer entertainment services. Our local expertise and product teams are key factors in the success of subscriber take-up as products are brought to market. Not only will RealMusic be a service built around our key European markets, but it will also be a significant revenue source as the flagship music product in Real's European portfolio."


More on those reports that Bertelsmann might sell its stake in SonyBMG in order to buy shares held in the parent company by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, who are keen to force a flotation of the media conglomerate. New reports suggest that Bertelsmann's majority shareholders, the Mohn family, and especially Liz Mohn, is now talking about borrowing the $4 billion that it would take to buy out GBL, rather than selling off one of the company's assets. That move is likely to be unpopular with top directors at Bertelsmann who are known to be happy with the way they have reduced the company's debts in recent years, but the fact the Mohns are considering the option possibly means a sale of their half of SonyBMG is slightly less likely than it was.


Rock independent Earache has signed a new distribution deal with ADA Music UK which is, by the way, a newly created sales and distribution arm of Warner Music UK. Effective immediately, the deal will see ADA distribute the label's entire catalogue, including current signings Deicide and Mortiis and catalogue releases from the likes of Napalm Death.

Commenting on the deal, ADA MD Susan Rush told CMU: "We're really pleased to be working with Earache. They've built a successful long term business and have become one of the UK's best rock exponents and we're looking forward to being part of the next chapter in their life."

Earache MD Digby Pearson added: "This deal can only be good news for our artists and catalogue to receive a push from a major distribution set up in our home territory. Though what Madonna and Green Day will make of having the likes of Decapitated and the rest of Earache's headbangingly loud roster sharing distribution space with them, we can barely imagine." Neither can I, though I reckon James Blunt is a huge Mortiis fan. He looks the sort.


One I've been meaning to report on for days now. Japanese trash-punk queens and, if I remember rightly, CMU favourites Mika Bomb are staging a fund-raiser gig in aid of their poorly drummer Ergi next week.

Ergi's had a hard time of it of late after falling ill in December. On being rushed to hospital it was discovered he had septicaemia and he spent a week in a coma. He survived, but doctors were forced to amputate both of his legs below the knee in order to beat the disease. Despite all that, we hear he is in good spirits (and preferring the story where he has a motorbike accident and lands in a crocodile-infested swamp), but he can't work for the time being and is therefore struggling to support his wife and kids. Hence the fundraiser.

Mika Bomb will headline the show themselves, supported by the wonderful Pipettes, The Boyfriends and Piranha Deathray, with the White Heat DJs on the decks. It all takes place at The Garage in London on 15 May, from 7.30pm till midnight. Tickets are a tenner in advance.

More at - press info from Emms.


In slightly related news (well, there's a Japanese connection), It Came From Japan are staging a mini-tour showcasing three great Japanese bands - Bo-Peer (grrrl-punk from Tokyo), Puppypet (ska-punk from Osaka), and Shinonome (actually London based, but experimental J-pop madness nevertheless).

The tour will play the following venues...

16 May: Tatty Bogle, London (need to join in advance at

18 May: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth (also a Manga book launch)

10 May: Departure Lounge @ The Prince Albert, Brighton (part of The Great Escape)

20 May, Stringbendy's, Eastbourne

Press info and the likes from [email protected]


Hurrah. CMU favourites Spank Rock have announced a UK tour. I am very much going to be there. Well, not at every single date. Hopefully one of the London ones. Dates as follows:

19 May: Fabric London
23 May: X-Posure @ Barfly London
24 May: King Tuts Glasgow
25 May: Hi-Fi Club Leeds
26 May: Roadhouse Manchester
27 May: Digital Newcastle
28 May: Dot to Dot @ Stealth Nottingham
29 May: Club NME @ The Plug Sheffield


Clayhill have announced a series of tour dates in support of their new album 'Mine At Last', dates as follows:

7 May: Bristol Fleece & Firkin
8 May: Manchester Late Room
9 May: Nottingham The Maze
10 May: Birmingham Glee Club
12 May: Leicester Fire Bug
15 May: Cambridge The Loft
16 May: Brighton Komedia
17 May: Leeds New Roscoe
18 May: Stockton Georgian Theatre
20 May: Glasgow Barfly
21 May: York Fibbers
22 May: Wolverhampton Little Civic
23 May: Stoke Sugar Mill
24 May: London Bush Hall


Talking of bands with hill as the second syllable of their names, the forthcoming single from Sheffield band Gledhill 'Good Times Ahead' is apparently getting a lot of airplay on Sky Sports at the moment, particularly on the footie. 'Roots', a second track from their 'Constellations' album, out on 15 May, is to soundtrack 20 test matches from next week.


Keane have announced a surprise show at ULU on Friday. The band are, of course, expected to preview tracks from that previously reported new album 'Under The Iron Sea', which is out on 12 Jun, preceded by single release 'Is It Any Wonder' on 29 May. It marks their first major live set in London since they appeared at Brixton Academy back in London in 2004.


Pete Burns has been sent to prison for violating bail conditions imposed last week.

Last week the Big Brother star was electronically tagged after being accused of harassing ex-boyfriends, and told to stay at an address in Merseyside in the day and stay outside the M25 except for court appearances.

He broke those conditions at least twice, however, and has now been remanded to Wandsworth Prison until he appears in court again on Tuesday.


And so to the really big news of the day. Preston Ordinary Boys and that Chantelle girl have reportedly booked the Stock Brook Country Club for their wedding, apparently spending £3,000 on the venue. The Sun claims that they managed to secure the date because of a cancellation, and quoted a source as saying: "Chantelle wanted class and was thrilled when the booking became available. She is getting used to the finer things in life and this place delivers."


And finally, a fun story from London based "post-everything experimentalists" Twentysixfeet who ensured their new album 'Two Hours Of Passionless Tango' is stocked by all good record shops in central London by going into said record shops themselves and stocking them up - that is to say, slotting their albums in the 't' sections in the A-Z racks. The adventure was documented on camera and, because the whole thing amused us greatly, we've stuck their pictures at this URL:

The band tell us: "Our 'Two Hours Of Passionless Tango' CD is in most music shops in the W1 area, but if you ask them, they will tell you they DON'T stock it. 'Errr..its not on our system. We don't have it'. But it's there. Go in, and try to buy it - we think this should ensure some chaos at the tills. What will they do - give it to you? Try and sell it to you even though they shouldn't, as it's not released yet and they have no clue about it anyway? Our moneys on you'll get it for free. But anyways, will be a laugh watching the confused shop assistant probably go and get the manager, who in turn will be equally confused. Go and do it. Let us know what happens. There are five in the Oxford Circus HMV, in the rock and pop section, under T. We might even go for Woolworths next".

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